The family registration system is used in Japan to register Japanese citizens from birth until death. In this way, the family register acts as a birth certificate, death certificate, proof of marriage and proof of divorce. It also can be used to certify Japanese citizenship. The family register, as the name suggests, is based upon familial relationships and parents, children and spouses will all usually be listed in the same register under a shared last name.
Normally, a child born in wedlock, or within 200 days of the start of a marriage, or 300 days from the dissolution of a marriage, will be presumed to be the child of the husband. However, in the case of a child born outside of these circumstances the court may order a paternity test to determine the father of the child in order to assign responsibility for child support.
Abducting parents are free to return the abducted child voluntarily, even after the start of Hague litigation. Voluntarily returning a child to his or her home country is also often cheaper than engaging in a drawn out and difficult legal battle and may result in more favorable negotiation and cooperation between the parents in the future.
These days the practice of couples living together and acting as if they were married, without filing a registration of marriage, has increased. This type of relationship is called a “common law marriage.” Common law marriages in Japan come with all of the same responsibilities that a “real” marriage does, including the duty to live together, help one another and remain faithful.